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Competitor Profile: Harold L Daniell

TT Career Summary

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MGP Career Summary

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One achievement in the successful career of this baby-faced, spectacle wearing but tough Londoner stands out. In 1938, riding a works Norton, he set the first under 25-minute (24min.52.6sec) lap of the island, which represented a speed of 91mph and was not bettered for twelve years.

His first victorious appearance outside mainland short circuit racing had been while competing in the 1933 Manx Grand Prix. The following year he entered the Senior TT on a works AJS. He finished ninth and retired in the Junior race. His period with AJS gave little indication of his ability, finishing eighth in the 1935 Junior and retiring in the Senior. In 1936 he did no better, getting a ninth place in the Junior. In the Senior he rode the first AJS four-cylinder machine but there were mechanical problems and he again retired.

He left AJS and in 1937 entered the Senior with his own Steve Lancefield (his brother-in-law) tuned three-year-old Norton which at least brought him slightly more success with fifth place. He also managed fifth in the Junior. In addition he had beaten Stanley Woods at Donington and Crystal Palace. That year he rode his first race on the Continent, the Dutch TT, and finished second. The Norton factory, or more specifically, Joe Craig, then decided to offer him a team place for the 1938 season in which he won the Senior race and set that record lap. However, it was only over the last few miles that he managed to overtake Stanley Woods.

He volunteered for Second World War service but, ironically, was rejected on the grounds of poor eyesight. So he served in the Home Guard. When the war ended he continued with Norton, winning the Senior races of 1947 and 1949 while also riding well on the Continent and successfully on domestic short circuits, most notably Donington. His career came to a close in 1950 when he made his last appearance on the island, finishing third in the Junior race quite a distance behind the emerging new star of the sport, Geoff Duke, who himself finished behind Artie Bell. On retirement he became a Norton dealer in Forest Hill, London.

Copyright. Norman Fox..

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